Simple Ways to Protect Your Home and Family

Your home is the one place you should be able to feel totally safe and protected. The best way to ensure that your home is as safe as it can possibly be is to make sure that it is protected not only on the outside but on the inside as well. Here are some things to consider when it comes to keeping your home safe and secure.

Install a Home Security System

A home security system can be a great way to protect your home as these are often deterrents for criminals. Many security systems provide signage that you can place around your home, on the windows, et cetera to help prevent potential break-ins. However, if the signs do not prevent a break-in, once the alarm is triggered, this is usually enough to scare off a perpetrator.

Beware of Potential Hazards

When it comes to protecting your family, the first thing that comes to mind is warding off criminals and protecting against natural disasters. However, it is even more important to ensure that the inside of the home is protected from danger as well. It’s important to safeguard your home from electrical hazards, harmful chemicals, or anything else that can be potentially dangerous,  especially when you have little ones crawling or walking around. As an adult, you automatically know not to do dumb things like sticking a fork in an outlet. However, a child may not. Therefore, something like this can be avoided just by adding outlet covers to sockets that are child level.

Prepare for Natural Disasters

Oftentimes, much of the damage inflicted upon a home during a storm is caused by flying objects. Whenever a storm is approaching, one easy way to prevent lots of damage to your home is to just store things that may get tossed around in the wind. Whatever you cannot store, tying it down or weighing it down with a heavy object can also help. Also, it is a good idea to cut any tree branches that may be loose, dying or just hanging too close to your roof.

These are just some of the basic ways that you can maintain a safe home environment for you and your family that doesn’t take too much effort. The point is that by using preventative measures, you can help increase the safety of your home from the inside out.

Simple Ways to Boost the Mood in Your Home

The home is a sanctuary; it’s the place we look forward to coming back to each day. Since you spend so much time putting your personal touches on your home, you want it to be a happy place. While there can always be stress in the home, there are several ways in which you can help your house to have a positive and welcoming vibe.

Lighting

The proper lighting is essential to creating a happy home. For example, open window plans can provide the house with natural sunlight. Lots of sunlight in the home has been linked to happier moods within the house as it fights off depression. High Quality Home Maintenance warns that excessive sunlight can cause furniture to fade, so it’s important to keep your furniture protected so no damage occurs. For a unique experience, you could try strategically placing accent lights to showcase your favorite parts of the home. 

To improve your sleep, you should consider installing a dimmer switch. Close to the time you choose to sleep, the dim lights help your brain to prepare for bedtime. Candles are another great source of personalized lighting. There’s nothing quite as cozy as twinkling candles throughout the home.

Paint

People truly underestimate the significance of the paint colors through the home. Did you know that dark purple bedrooms promote feelings of sadness? Well, it’s true! So, to promote a happy home, try painting your walls in colors that help to promote a positive vibe. According to The Art of Simple that since it is considered one of the happiest, optimistic colors, yellow is an ideal choice for a bedroom. Rooms that are adorned in off-white hues are also a great choice. Neutral colors, such as ivory and cream, can match any décor and style, so those off-white choices are perfect for any room. Rooms that are coated in pale pink swatches have been shown to promote a calm feeling; too bright of a pink, however, can have the opposite effect.

Plants

While they’re often overlooked, several varieties of plants can really bring your home together in a happy and positive way. Plants not only give off the breezy vibe you’re looking for, but they also help to cleanse the air within the house. So, what type of plants are the best for happiness? If you’re looking for a happy flower, consider bringing in some daisies. Lilies are also a happy flower, and you’re sure to be happy having some. For something greener, consider bringing orchids into your bedroom. They work hard to emit oxygen while taking in toxins; this helps you to sleep better. Peace lilies are another excellent plant to make a happy home. 

Always remember, however, that there are some plants that are toxic to animals. If you have pets, The Sill advises to look for plants that are labeled animal friendly, or make it easy with an animal safe plant subscription. If they are not labeled, do research before potentially exposing your animals to poisonous plants.

However you choose to make your home happy, do it in your own personal style. Always try incorporating lighting and careful paint choices to make your house a positive and stress-free zone. Plants also work to make your home a happier place.

Ready to boost your mood? Get an estimate for painting your home today!

How to Get More Natural Light in Your Florida Home

Natural light refers to sunlight and other forms of light not generated by electricity or artificial means. Creating more natural light in your Florida home can lead to better mental health because an increase in exposure to this type of light promotes the release of serotonin, an important brain chemical. In fact, natural light benefits a wide range of biological systems, including the body’s circadian rhythm, the delicate schedule of sleeping and waking. Fluorescent lighting, on the other hand, is shown to harm health by increasing stress. 

How do you boost the amount of natural light entering your home? Here are a few simple methods to accomplish that.

Using Reflective Surfaces

More reflective surfaces in your home mean more natural light bouncing around. There are many objects you can work into your home’s décor that will look great and functionally increase natural light. Examples include mirrors, silver photo frames, metallic fixtures, metallic ceiling finishes and furniture made of glass or chrome. Even the paint you choose can affect natural light levels. Darker colors absorb light. This is why, for example, darker colored clothing gets so hot and uncomfortable on a sunny Florida day. To maximize natural light and brighten a room, opt for the lightest possible paint colors like white and beige.

Adding Windows

Doubling or tripling the number of windows in your residence is perhaps the most obvious way to usher in more natural light. A wall of windows can be a beautiful addition to a home, especially if it faces a beautiful view featuring the rising or setting sun. Of course, privacy can be a concern when adding extra windows. Consider placing them strategically on the second floor, the sides of the house, or areas where a fence obscures the view from prying eyes. Many reflective windows are available for purchase, but they may reduce the natural light coming into your home. Skylights are also popular.

Since Florida is prone to hurricanes, you will want to take this into account, of course. Some modern window products provide excellent protection. Do some research before making your purchase.

Keep Your Windows Clean

Grime, dust, and debris can build up on windows. When it’s left uncleaned, this not only harms the appearance of your house, but all that debris also blocks natural light from shining inside. Keep your windows clean. Chemical products can be purchased that prevent this type of buildup, meaning less maintenance work for you. If you assume your windows are clean already, you might be surprised how much grime rubs off on a cloth when you wipe them.

Follow these basic tips and you’ll enjoy a brighter, healthier home full of beautiful Florida light.

Lighten your home with a fresh coat of paint, get your interior painting estimate today!

Shopping for New Furniture? 3 Things to Pay Attention To

Furnishing your home with your preferred style of furniture, appliances and decorative items can be an exciting experience that brings deep inner satisfaction. However, there are a few things that consumers should pay close attention to when shopping for home furnishings. These important considerations include each piece’s overall comfort factor and its basic stability and safety. Besides this, you’ll want to select furniture that has a classic design and timeless appeal.

Comfort Factor

It is essential for consumers to ensure that any furniture they intend to buy is comfortable and well-suited for the family members who will be using it. This is especially true for furnishings that will get a lot of daily use over the years. Always test out the comfort factor beforehand by browsing furniture retail stores and actually sitting on sofas and chairs that are on display. Additionally, lie down on the available beds in the store showrooms to test the qualities of the mattress and support of the frame. Consider the size of the people who will be using each selection, and make your furnishing choices accordingly.

Stability

Consumers shopping for furniture need to consider the type of materials a piece is made of as well as its intrinsic stability. This is particularly true for heavier furnishings like tables and tall cabinets. Households that include little children can be especially vulnerable to accidental injuries inflicted by a heavy piece of furniture or a bulky appliance that might tip over onto a small child. Top-heavy furniture needs to be secured to avoid tragic accidents that may occur. Certain furnishings such as tall dressers, wall-mounted pull-down beds or two-piece china cabinets in the dining room all have the potential to fall unexpectedly. Be particularly careful with bookcases.

Timeless Design

The styles of home furnishings vary as widely as the diversity of the people who purchase them, but many of those fashions simply come and go. You probably wouldn’t want to decorate your home today with the sort of furnishings popular in the 1950s. Nevertheless, there are classic styles that combine beauty, strength and elegant lines, and those styles have been admired for generations. Style isn’t the same as fashion. When you’re decorating your home, seek classic furnishings that coincide with your particular tastes. Think about what will still be functional, beautiful and relevant years down-the-road, and choose timeless furniture designs for your larger pieces. Smaller accent furnishings and easily changed decorative accessories can keep your timeless décor looking fresh and stylish.

Furniture shopping can be lots of fun, and when you know what to look for, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. To achieve the best results, pay attention to each piece’s true comfort level, overall stability, and design. Your beautiful, cozy and safe new furniture should be something you’ll enjoy for a long time to come.

What Are Some Situations That Call for Professional Painting Services?

Painting is a cost-effective way to refresh and renew your home. In many cases, painting can be a DIY project. However, there are other instances where health and safety concerns call for the services of professional painters. Here are some situations where it’s best to get professional help with painting.

Lead Paint

The age of the structure will help you determine if lead paint is a concern. Lead paint was banned in 1977, so any structure built before that time could have paint that contains lead, a toxic substance that is linked to a number of serious health problems. It’s important to note that lead paint doesn’t have to be flaking to be dangerous. Paint ages and fades over time, and if your home was coated with lead paint, the space will likely have more lead in the air and on hard surfaces than buildings not painted with lead paint. Consider hiring a professional to get the space tested before painting so that you can remediate the space if necessary.

Smoking Residue

If the previous owner of your home was a smoker, or if you have recently quit smoking and want to freshen the space, be aware that the combination of cigarette toxins and Florida humidity can be a sticky problem. This smoke residue will stick to your walls and ceilings and may make it difficult for a new layer of paint to adhere properly. Tar and other chemicals can adhere to the walls and can be difficult to remove if you don’t know what you’re doing. You may need to have your walls professionally stripped to remove the toxins or get a special primer applied to make sure your new topcoat clings and looks great.

Physical Challenges

Open concept homes offer a great sense of space and the easy movement of light and air, but they can make painting a hazardous challenge. Additionally, if your space has a stairwell or open railing, painting the space will likely take specialty ladders or even scaffolding to reach all areas. One misstep on a stairwell can be catastrophic, especially when everything is coated in plastic or if you’re wearing safety goggles, which can impede your vision. 

Your personal safety and time restrictions need to be taken into consideration when planning a paint job. Paint chemistry is an ever-changing industry. Consider getting a quote from a professional before you embark on a painting project to protect your health and the value of your home.

4 Ways to Spruce Up Your Yard

Creating the yard of your dreams doesn’t require a lot of work. Adding some beautiful and cozy touches gives you a tranquil and peaceful place to unwind and relax. Keeping your yard trimmed and rearranging your patio furniture from time to time allows you to experience the full potential of your yard’s space. Here are four amazing ways to spruce up the beauty and serenity of your yard.

Trim Your Trees and Shrubs

A well-manicured backyard begins with properly trimmed and maintained trees and shrubs. When these statement plants are beautifully trimmed, they present a cleaner profile that makes your yard pop. Trimming your trees not only makes the yard look better, but it also promotes better growth. Make sure to trim your trees as needed to keep them healthy, happy, and growing. Keep in mind, also, that different varieties may have different trimming requirements, so do your research first or hire a professional for best results.

Buy a Hammock

Hammocks are wonderful for providing a soothing place to absorb the beauty of the yard you’ve created, and adding a hammock to your yard is the perfect way to reduce daily stress as you gently swing your cares away. So enjoy your new sanctuary, and relax as you lie back and listen to the wind blow through the trees while the birds sweetly chirp, and your hammock peacefully rocks.

Add a Bird Feeder

Birds are beautiful to behold, and adding a bird feeder to your backyard allows you to enjoy their wonderful presence up close. Placing several bird feeders around your yard not only turns it into a lovely bird haven, but it also provides you with even more stress relief. Watching birds also offers you hours of pleasant and quiet relaxation and is a soothing activity that can and should be enjoyed from the comfort of your own yard when you add a bird feeder to your landscape.

Rearrange Your Patio Furniture

Changing the energy of your outdoor space when you rearrange your patio furniture allows you to experience your backyard anew. Even the slightest change can open up the flow of your yard and provide you with an entirely new look. Semi-frequent changes to the arrangement of your patio furniture give you continuous opportunities for the recreation of your outdoor space, providing you with endless options for creating an environment that’s perfect for you. 

Beautifying your yard by adding strategic accents and properly maintaining your landscape offers a cleaner, crisper look that will provide you with endless hours of relaxation as the eye-catching appeal of your spruced-up yard encourages you to spend more time enjoying the outdoor paradise that you’ve lovingly created.

A beautiful yard goes to waste when your home is desperately in need of new paint. See what we can do here!

4 Hidden Dangers in Your Home and How to Fix Them

As a homeowner, you want your home to be a happy and safe place. Unfortunately, many potential dangers can arise. Fires, water damage, mold, pests and more can all pose a challenge. While there are some obvious issues that you know to look out for, there are also smaller and more subtle dangers you should be aware of as well.

Air Freshener

Any homeowner knows how funky scents can build up. Kids, pets, sweat and more all can contribute to a less-than-fresh-smelling home. However, many commercial air fresheners use chemicals that may be harmful. As a substitute, consider using natural alternatives or even making your own. Limiting exposure to harmful chemicals, especially for children, is always a good idea.

Space Heater

After cooking, heating is the second leading cause of home fires. Space heaters can provide efficient means of heating your home, and their portability is convenient. However, improper use of space heaters is a common cause of house fires. Do not use heaters indoors unless they’re specifically approved for such usage, and always keep them away from flammable objects. Carpets, curtains, and papers can all easily catch fire. A space heater should be used only on a hard and flat surface and observed by a responsible adult at all times. They should never run while people are absent from home or sleeping.

Extension Cord

Besides being a tripping hazard if they aren’t tucked away properly, extension cords can pose a fire risk. If used properly, an extension cord is not dangerous. The issue is that people tend to overload extension cords and try to plug in too many things. When an overloaded cord is placed near flammable objects, it can overheat, spark and catch fire. Much like with space heaters, keep extension cords away from flammable objects.

Dryer Lint

Another fire hazard is presented by dryer lint. As your clothes dryer tumbles and dries a load, the clothes shed lint and small debris, which gets sucked out of the machine and vented out of your home. However, the lint can stick and, if not removed and cleaned, it will build up. The screen in dryers catches most lint, but not all. The heat from the dryer can cause it to catch fire. Regularly check and remove lint from the dryer heating element, vent pipes, and vent exit.

Keeping up a home is a challenge. By knowing all the potential risks, you can more easily reduce them. Dedicating yourself to keeping your home safeguarded against hidden dangers will ensure your peace of mind and make sure your home is safe.

Tackling a DIY Paint Job? Here Are Some Helpful Tips

Painting a room is the least expensive way to give it a brand-new look. It’s also one of the most straightforward jobs for doing-it-yourself. With effort and the right painting technique, you can get a truly fabulous result.

Prepping the Room

Painting is a time-consuming task, but the process will go much more smoothly by preparing the space well. Remove window treatments, artwork, rugs, switch plates, and any other accessories. Remove as much of the furniture as will be manageable and push the rest into the center, where a drop cloth can safely cover it. The floor needs to be protected as well, and flattened cardboard boxes are one good way to do it. Nix Color Sensor suggests inspecting the walls for nail holes or cracks and applying a fast-drying spackle to ensure you get a smooth canvas. Once all imperfections have been sanded down, you’re ready to add painter’s tape around the edge of the crown molding, or where your wall meets the ceiling.

Start Right, End Right

As tempting as it can be to leave it to the end, according to IA Drywall, it’s best to paint the ceiling first before the walls. Working with a partner, use a paintbrush to “cut in,” which means to flatten the brush and make an even line that will border the area. The second person uses a roller with an extended handle to fill in the rest of the space, applying even pressure in a zig-zag pattern. Paint in 4-foot sections, but make sure to let the segments overlap. To avoid paint splatter, work slowly, and get into a nice rhythm. When it’s time to paint the walls, finish one wall at a time so that overlapping sections dry at the same time and can blend in together. Applying a second coat will give you the best results. Carefully remove all the painter’s tape before the paint has fully dried, to avoid peeling. Your final section to paint will be the trim, but allow the ceiling and the walls to dry completely first.

Those Final Touches

Paint the “trim” using a trim brush, which is small enough to do the job right. These narrow spaces around light fixtures or door frames require a steady hand, but try to work fast enough to avoid leaving visible brush strokes. You may need to add a second coat to the trim.

Now it’s time to admire your hard work! A fresh paint job can transform the feeling of a room and will enhance your enjoyment of the space for years to come.

Looking to leave the painting to the professionals? Give us a call for a free estimate.

How to Touch Up Your Home’s Exterior

Your home is more than a place you live: It’s a statement about who you are as a family and how you view yourself as part of a community. In addition to being deeply personal, taking care of your home’s exterior is also financially important, and making even minor home improvements can increase your home’s value. To that end, here are three easy ways to touch up your home’s exterior. 

Touch Up the Paint

Touching up the paint around your home is a minor change that makes a big difference. This doesn’t have to be an entirely new paint job. It can be something as simple as touching up spots where the paint has chipped or faded, going over your windows or shutters or adding an accent to the edge of your home. The nice thing about this job is you can do it on your own with minimal expertise and investment in painting equipment. However, if your home was built before 1978, make sure to test the paint for lead before starting any work. Alternatively, you can hire Jaworski Painting to take care of everything for you. 

Clean the Windows

You may not even notice how dirty your windows are on the outside, but unless you’ve cleaned them recently, you might be floored at just how filthy they can get. Fortunately, cleaning them can be as simple as getting a ladder, some rags and a good cleaning solution. You can even make your own DIY window cleaner. Remember to clean both the interior and exterior of windows to make the biggest impact.

Fix Cracks in the Driveway

Repairing a driveway can get a bit technical. You have to know what your driveway is made of and the best way to do the repairs, such as filling in cracks and holes. Most driveways are made of asphalt. A crumbling driveway is probably beyond repair. If your driveway has gotten to the point of needing a replacement, make sure you pick the best type of asphalt. A good contractor is usually your best bet to fix a crumbling driveway. Ask friends for recommendations, and don’t just hire the first person you call. Get bids, and see if you can negotiate a lower price.

When it comes to touching up the exterior of your home, you’d be amazed at what a big difference a small touch-up can make. These three items are just the start, but they can make a huge impact when it comes to beautifying the exterior of your house.

Your Roof’s Shingles Might Be Trying to Tell You Something—Pay Attention

The roof on your home is very important from a structural standpoint. In order to protect the rest of your home, you need shingles that are installed properly, and these shingles must be in-tact as well. If you think that your roof may need a bit of work, you should have a professional come out to assess everything. Having a little bit of routine maintenance done now can save you a lot of money and stress later on. Your roof shingles might be trying to tell you something. Let’s take a closer look.

Cracked Shingles

Over time, shingles can crack and become damaged. This really depends on the type of shingle that you have on your home. Different materials tend to be used in different parts of the country. The fluctuations in temperature in your area can affect your shingles, and general wear and tear occur as the shingles are exposed to the elements every day. If you see cracks in a couple of shingles, then these shingles can be replaced. If the majority of your shingles are cracking, this can mean it’s almost time to replace your entire roof.

Curling Shingles

If you notice that shingles on your roof are curling up at the edges, this can indicate that you have some water trapped underneath those shingles. Water and heat can cause roof shingles to curl, which then exposes more of the shingle and your roof to potential damage. Not only do you want to have these curling shingles replaced, but you also want to make sure there isn’t any water damage to the structure that is under the roof. If there is, you could be dealing with a moisture issue in your attic.

Missing Shingles

Shingles can fall off a roof for a number of reasons. A little bit of wind could blow a shingle right off your roof if it wasn’t attached properly. If you have a very severe storm that includes a lot of wind, you can lose an entire portion of your roof with just one gust. Missing shingles allow water to gain access to the wood structure of your home. This can lead to mold and rotting.

Take the time to have your roof maintained and inspected just like you would for other areas of your home. It’s essential that you understand how your roof is designed to give your home the protection that it needs from things like water, wind, and pests. If your shingles are showing signs of wear or damage, then have them taken care of right away.